Issue 1
The Modern Desk
Welcome to issue 1, friends!

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed with all the great stuff constantly floating around the web? I certainly do. My goal with this simple newsletter is to present you — by way of email — with a managable selection (5-10 items) of interesting, practical, and beautiful products that make your time at work a little more pleasant. The Modern Desk is a side project that will run parallel to my main job, and I'm sure it will evolve over time as I receive your feedback (just reply) and product suggestions. So without further ado, enjoy the first issue. — Kai Brach

If you are on the road a lot working from cafés or shared office spaces, standing desks are often hard to come by. With StandStand you can now bring your own. Three simple, lightweight pieces of wood collapse to the size of a laptop and easily fit into any bag.

Phone sleeves and cases tend to add a lot of unnecessary bulk. Not so with Peel. The 0.35mm thin, branding-free case fits perfectly around any iPhone version 5 or higher. It's the first protective case that doesn't turn your phone into an ugly plastic brick.

Make Your Mark is the third volume in 99U's series of practical business books for the creative world. In it you'll find conversations with leading entrepreneurs and experts that share best practices for launching a purpose-driven business and making something that matters.

Made by hand in Los Angeles, Mod cases are modular leather briefcases to organise your office equipment in a beautiful, new way. Mods come in various formats, sizes and materials to cover everything from phone to tablet or laptop. So much hand-made style has its price: the laptop size starts at $575.

My iPhone has pretty much replaced any other camera I own. However, especially while travelling, there are occasions when I'd appreciate a better lense and quicker access: introducing Moment Case, a great travel companion for better mobile photography.


Online helpdesk software are a dime a dozen these days, many trying to win over new customers with a huge list of features. Groove stands out because it is simple, beautiful and easy to use. Make sure you check out their blog where they share insight into how exactly the company grew through transparency and — big surprise — offering great customer support.

Are you suffering from email overload? If you find it hard to keep your clogged-up inbox managable, SaneBox might be your thang: unsubscribe from people in one click, track responses, auto-highlight important emails or snooze non-urgent ones.

Red Pen lets you drag an image or screenshot into your browser, attach comments and feedback wherever you like, and then share it publicly or with a select group of people. Gathering collaborative feedback on visuals has never been this easy and fast.

Do you still collect paper receipts in a drawer and enter them manually every quarter? Do it in seconds: simply send/forward your receipts to a dedicated email address or take a photo on your phone. I've been using this service for months and it saved me a lot of time. Plugins for Xero, Freshbooks, etc. are available too. (A refreshed design of their app is in the works.)